web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Rough Justice

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, July 31st, 2010 - 14 comments
Categories: crime, law and "order", police, prisons, us politics - Tags: , , ,

The Economist has a great article looking at the American propensity to deprive their citizens of their liberty for trivial offenses.

America is different from the rest of the world in lots of ways, many of them good. One of the bad ones is its willingness to lock up its citizens (see our briefing). One American adult in 100 festers behind bars (with the rate rising to one in nine for young black men). Its imprisoned population, at 2.3m, exceeds that of 15 of its states. No other rich country is nearly as punitive as the Land of the Free. The rate of incarceration is a fifth of America’s level in Britain, a ninth in Germany and a twelfth in Japan.

As they point out it is primarily a political problem

Some parts of America have long taken a tough, frontier attitude to justice. That tendency sharpened around four decades ago as rising crime became an emotive political issue and voters took to backing politicians who promised to stamp on it. This created a ratchet effect: lawmakers who wish to sound tough must propose laws tougher than the ones that the last chap who wanted to sound tough proposed. When the crime rate falls, tough sentences are hailed as the cause, even when demography or other factors may matter more; when the rate rises tough sentences are demanded to solve the problem. As a result, America’s incarceration rate has quadrupled since 1970.

The same thing has been happening at a lesser rate in other countries as well for the same reason. In NZ we’ve been seeing this counter-productive trend for some time. People are being locked up for longer for more and more trivial offenses. There appears to be little or no effect on the rate that crimes are committed. What does make a difference is funding the police so that they are able to do their job. This was quite evident in large increases in police numbers through the 00’s to the point that they were able to detect and deal with the minor offenses that lead on to further offenses.

Conservatives and liberals will always feud about the right level of punishment. Most Americans think that dangerous criminals, which statistically usually means young men, should go to prison for long periods of time, especially for violent offences. Even by that standard, the extreme toughness of American laws, especially the ever broader classes of ‘criminals’ affected by them, seems increasingly counterproductive.

Many states have mandatory minimum sentences, which remove judges’ discretion to show mercy, even when the circumstances of a case cry out for it. ‘Three strikes’ laws, which were at first used to put away persistently violent criminals for life, have in several states been applied to lesser offenders. The war on drugs has led to harsh sentences not just for dealing illegal drugs, but also for selling prescription drugs illegally. Peddling a handful can lead to a 15-year sentence.

This type of draconian punishment is just silly. After the arms race of promising to get ever tougher on crime, you can wind up going to jail for long periods for very trivial offenses. The only real result is that we wind up paying large amounts of our taxes to build and maintain prisons. Ultimately that money gets pulled away from the police and social programs that work to prevent crime. Quite simply increasing punishments doesn’t act as a deterrent, it is a waste of effort and resources.

It does not have to be this way. In the Netherlands, where the use of non-custodial sentences has grown, the prison population and the crime rate have both been falling (see article). Britain’s new government is proposing to replace jail for lesser offenders with community work. Some parts of America are bucking the national trend. New York cut its incarceration rate by 15% between 1997 and 2007, while reducing violent crime by 40%. This is welcome, but deeper reforms are required.

This is one of the few areas that I find myself in full agreement with Deborah Coddington. Her article last week “Victims’ clamour weighs heavily on scales of justice” was looking at the absurdities of the victimology

This is just that mad lot from Sensible Sentencing, who have the gall to try to call themselves a charity, having their hysterical influence on the National Government and its support party Act.

Who, for instance, does the ministry think it is kidding when it starts out by stating “a greater focus on victims will assist in reducing the cost and impact of crime on individuals and society in general”?

Then further on we find the ministry proposes to establish, among other initiatives, a “Victims of Crime Complaints Officer, and require criminal justice agencies to report to Parliament each year about their responsibilities to victims”.

This officer would tell Parliament how many complaints were received, which agency received the complaints, what they were, whether they were sorted out, and how, ad nauseum.

You can see where this new bureaucracy is going.

Set up a complaints department and the moaners will form a disorderly queue.

There is a lot more in that short article. The nett effect is likely to be more people being incarcerated for longer for no real reason and a grave distortion on the process of the justice system. Simon Power is idiotic for bowing to the minor political pressure and actively pushing this policy.

In this coming election in 2011, I’d suggest that voters actively vote for candidates and parties with policies that are more orientated to preventing crime than pandering to the idiotic slogans of pressure groups like the Sensible Sentencing Trust. In fact don’t vote for anyone who hasn’t issued a statement saying that they think the SST are fools and why. It would be nice to get rid of them out of the political spectrum.

14 comments on “Rough Justice”

  1. bbfloyd 1

    it is now the case in nz that certain charges now require the defendant to prove their innocence, rather than what, i know most of us regard as a cornerstone tenet of our justice? system. that is you are innocent untill proven guilty. the cannabis laws are one example that i know of where the law has been fundamentally changed to shift the onus of proof onto the defendant. it is unbelievable to me that such a fundamental shift toward napoleonic law can be undertaken without any kind of public knowledge. how far away are we from ordinary people being afraid of the police? and when bring arrested for any crime could mean families and friends of anyone arrested can be harrassed and arrested purely for associating with the person arrested? this can only be viewed as an attack on peoples ability to defend themselves from false arrest or police persecution.

  2. Jenny 2

    In a previous post on the causes of crime, I reviewed a recent report from New Scientist about social decay.

    I was startled by the conclusion by New Scientist that the rise in crime, tied with the rise in repression go up together, not in response to each other so much, as in relation to growth in the inequality in society.

    The rich become more fearful and paranoid and so indulge in more repression, while the poor feel more powerless and fearful and alienated and indulge in more crime.

    As New Scientist put it:

    The effects are felt right across society, not just among poor people. “Inequality seems to change the quality of social relations in society,’ says Wilkinson, “and people become more influenced by status competition.’ Anxiety about status leads to high levels of stress, which in turn leads to health problems, he says. In unequal societies trust drops away, community life weakens and society becomes more punitive because of fear up and down the social hierarchy.

    This third effect has more to do with the rise in both repression from the rich and powerful and crime by the poor and powerless.

    • Jenny 2.1

      My conclusion is that state sanctioned violence and repression ie. tasers, armed police building more prisons, more punitive sentences, is just as much a social negative as crime. Of course it doesn’t get quite the same amount of bad press.

      Captcha – dividing

    • lprent 2.2

      Do you have a link to that? Sounds interesting. But it does tally with my observations

      • Jenny 2.2.1

        Hi Lynne
        I am not sure which link you were referring to, the following is the link to my review. The link to the original New Scientist article which I based my comments on, appears at the end of my post.

        Cheers, Jenny

        The Underclass

        Here are some fuller quotes from the original New Scientist article:

        People in deprived areas face two kinds of hazard, Nettle says. First, there are constraints on what they are able to do to mitigate their situation. Diet is a prime example: ‘It’s much more expensive to get 2000 calories a day from fresh fruit and vegetables compared with eating junk food,’ Nettle says. Then the environment is often physically more dangerous and unhealthy. ‘People are doing more dangerous jobs. There is probably more air pollution, more car accidents, a higher crime rate, poorer housing – things you cannot really do much about, which trigger a downward spiral of faster living and less attention to health.’

        It’s all relative
        Still, reducing poverty alone probably isn’t the answer. In their book The Spirit Level (Allen Lane, 2009), epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, of the universities of Nottingham and York, UK, respectively, emphasize the degree of income inequality in a society rather than poverty per se as being a major factor in issues such as death and disease rates, teenage motherhood and levels of violence. They show that nations such as the US and UK, which have the greatest inequality in income levels of all developed nations, also have the lowest life expectancy among those nations, the highest levels of teenage motherhood (see diagrams) and a range of social problems.
        The effects are felt right across society, not just among poor people. ‘Inequality seems to change the quality of social relations in society,’ says Wilkinson, ‘and people become more influenced by status competition.’ Anxiety about status leads to high levels of stress, which in turn leads to health problems, he says. In unequal societies trust drops away, community life weakens and society becomes more punitive because of fear up and down the social hierarchy.
        ‘Really dealing with economic inequalities is difficult because it involves unpopular things like raising tax,’ says Nettle. ‘So rather than fighting the fire, people have been trying to disperse the smoke.’ Politically it is much easier to pump money into education programs even if the evidence suggests that these are, on the whole, pretty ineffective at reducing the effects of poverty.
        There are two quite different ways that societies can be made more equal, Wilkinson says. Some countries, like Sweden, do it by redistribution, with high taxes and welfare benefits. In others, earnings are less unequal in the first place. Japan is one such country, and it has one of the highest average life expectancies and lowest levels of social problems among developed nations. Other important factors, says Wilkinson, are strong unions and economic democracy.

        PS. The first quote I thought was very pertinent to the current debate on removing GST on food which is currently making it’s way through parliament. A social good that of course John Key instinctively and vehemently opposes.

        A bid to remove GST on healthy foods to lower costs has been slammed by the Government.
        Prime Minister John Key said the Government will not support Maori MP Rahui Katene’s bill

    • ZB 2.3

      Why do people band around negatives as if they could add to a debate, negatives are symptoms not causes, they are what get our attention but do not provide the whole solution. The error of ACT, Sensible Sentencing Trust neo-simplistic solutions are just that they stay concentrated on the symptoms. Laws goes out and sells Gang branding! Intimidation! It was a shocker to hear, now more people than ever fear gang patches like many in gangs want!

      We cannot have civil liberties without a civil society. America fails because instead of providing a civil society it spent its oil money providing a seperated society, everyone loving a large yard away from each other and cars doors seperating them. NZ has a poor civil rights record, high gang participation and high crime indicate that our society is not as civil as it could be.

      So what I’m trying to say is you can either claim a strong human rights society by keeping people from engaging one another (faking it) or you can like so many Western European State actually get on with solving social problems and showing citizens how and why other citizens need space, need citizens to give up a little. e.g. Londoners, NYers, all have the habit of going round people in their way, because it takes longer to ask people to move! This breeds people who are capable of not taking easy offense, they accept, because they see it ever day, people unthinkingly getting in each others way and know that those who will succeed will be those who get over it and move on, focused.
      Suburbs allow people to just get on, they keep everyone out of each others way, and so breed a much less tolerant car driving and neighbor society. This is why NZ needs medium housing in and around city centers, to breed social citizens that learn how to get along without having to spend half an hour nattering pleasentries like they lived in the back country! Geez.

      Create diverse living environments, solve the human density problems and you get better civil rights, civil societies,
      do the opposite, segregate and keep citizens apart and they will never learn. Gangs are an indictator of a failure of civil rights and we should all be ashamed, most especially the Human Rights Commission who seem more interested in protecting the rights of gangs to assemble by being silent about the law abiding rights of citizens. Gangs are unions of young men who are disaffected, looking for security, and seeking status. They are not new, gangs exist whereever there is a breakdown of governance, and putting young men in jail just makes them worse when they only crime was trying to survive. Full employment should be a government goal, repression was easy like cheap easy oil and debt, now repression will cost us all more as we come more insecure and push even more young men into gangs.

    • Good comment Jenny. This mirrors the findings in the book “The Spirit Level”.

      The greater the inequality the worse the performance of the society.

  3. Ag 3

    Why is this a surprise?

    The US is, despite its traditions of individual liberty, peopled by very authoritarian (in the social psych sense) folk. It’s a very strange culture where people constantly laud freedom in the abstract, but are deathly afraid of it in the concrete.

  4. Marco 4

    I agree that ending social deprivation will have a stronger influence on crime than tougher sentences. What tougher sentences achieve is more abhorrent crime as criminals fight harder to avoid capture.

    However, fringe groups such as SST provide an outlet for people and it’s up to politicians to ignore them rather than pander to them. Sea Shepard in some circles could be considered a group as reactionary as SST, even Greenpeace have openly disapproved of their methods.

    Whilst most people would like lower crime and and end to whaling and groups like these have a right to express their opinions, unfortunately these extreme views sell advertising for media outlets so they won’t go away in a hurry.

  5. randal 5

    the pinheads rool dude.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Yep, I’m very very glad that I don’t live in the US – the home of the eternally paranoid.

  6. Rex Widerstrom 7

    Yes, we’re not as bad as America but we shouldn’t be congratulating ourselves because we’re getting there… and by a route which is more pervasive and dangerous. The US does, as other commenters have pointed out, have an authoritarian streak. Australia and NZ do not… the former was founded by convicts, for goodness sake!

    We’re not, for the most part, instinctively inclined to draconian punishments. But we’re having this tolerance eroded daily by the sickening exploitation of victims by the Sensible Sentencing Trust and their allies in the media, always on the lookout for tears and raw emotion no matter whether it’s an eliminated reality show contestant or the spouse of a murder victim.

    Our natural tendency toward reason and balance, toward punishment and rehabilitation, toward condemnation and compassion, is constantly attacked. “What, you don’t want this young offender locked away without natural light and subject to prison rape?! Why, you’re as good as telling this grieving widow to go to hell!!”

    The SST uses the very qualities that have led NZers to take a “sensible” view of justice and manipulates them into making us feel guilty. Almost, I’d go so far as to say, feel like parties to the crime unless we join the chorus baying for harsher punishments.

    The truly sad thing is, when the anger stage of the grief process has passed (and we “grieve” for everything from a stolen bicycle to a murdered loved one) rationality returns. But by then the SST doesn’t want to hear from victims. Nor does the “system” – I’ll bet that if the “Victims of Crime Complaints Officer” starts receiving complaints that the process as it stands is doing nothing to help victims cope, it’ll be disestablished or otherwise be swept under the carpet.

    What McVictim and his crew are doing is fighting to deny victims the kind of freedom from sorrow and anger experienced by this woman.

    LP, I commend your last paragraph to everyone. I just hope that by 2011, some party has expressed such sentiments because as it stands at present none are worthy of consideration under your criteria (though based on their performance in Australia on this issue, I have high hopes for the Greens).

  7. Roger 8

    I read this in a local paper some time ago that suggests a link between a highly punitive justice system and higher crime rates, it is worth a read.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/opinion/off-pat/3259999/Expert-warning-on-get-tough-rules

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 7

  • Time for NZ to prohibit the killing of great apes
    That ban was widely hailed, and spurred efforts in other countries to get similar bans. However, apes are still being exploited, abused and killed, both in captivity and in the wild. Examples of cruelty, neglect and abuse abound. Apes are… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    15 hours ago
  • Auckland building consents: Tragic
    The only word to describe the latest building consent figures for Auckland is ‘tragic’, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Whatever the Government is doing to address the Auckland housing crisis, it is clearly not working. ...
    15 hours ago
  • A whiff of a new biosecurity scandal?
    A pest which could create havoc for New Zealand’s horticulture and agriculture sector must be as much a focus for the Government as hunting out fruit flies, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “While the Ministry for Primary Industries is… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government shrugs off health sector crisis
    Despite new evidence showing that cuts to health spending are costing lives the Government continues to deny the sector is struggling, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health services in New Zealand are in crisis. ...
    1 day ago
  • Parata lowered the bar for failing charter school
    When Hekia Parata became aware that the Whangaruru charter school was experiencing major problems her first action was to drop standards by reducing the number of qualified teachers they had to employ, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins has revealed. “Hekia… ...
    2 days ago
  • National not being straight about the economy
    John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Mind the Gap
    This week the International Monetary Fund released a report on the wider economic value in closing the gender pay gap. When even the bastions of free-market economics start to raise concerns about gender pay gaps, we have to realise how… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Labour will hold National to parental leave promise
    Labour will hold National to its promise to increase the support given to new parents of premature, multiple birth and babies born with disabilities, Labour’s paid parental leave campaigner Sue Moroney says. "I am naturally disappointed that after battling for… ...
    2 days ago
  • It was all just pillar talk
    Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “Steven… ...
    2 days ago
  • Australians move on offshore speculators
    John Key might want to have a quiet word with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Canberra's just-announced crack down on offshore speculators when he visits New Zealand this week, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says."Tony Abbott's centre right government… ...
    3 days ago
  • Government at odds on overseas driver crashes
    National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “I’m not surprised… ...
    3 days ago
  • Human Rights and the Palestine Crisis
    Last week I heard two Palestinians speak at Wellington events about the ongoing crisis in their country. Samar Sabawi spoke to a full house about the history of Palestine and gave us a lucid and disturbing account of the situation… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    3 days ago
  • Time to take real care of our kids
    An Amnesty International report has once again criticised New Zealand’s track record on looking after our kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The annual report, which looks at global human rights abuses highlights not only the fact that high… ...
    3 days ago
  • John Key wrong about Labour’s war vote
    John Key’s desperate claims that the former Labour Government didn’t put combat troop deployment to a Parliamentary vote are simply wrong, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “It was disgraceful that the Prime Minister ran rough shod over democracy and… ...
    3 days ago
  • Māori language bill needs work
     It is clear that the first draft of the Māori Language Bill was about structures and funding rather than the survival of te reo Māori, Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.  “Labour is pleased that the Minister of Māori… ...
    3 days ago
  • Report proves troubled school shouldn’t have opened
    The long-awaited release of an Education Review Office report into Northland’s troubled Whangaruru charter school proves it should never have been approved in the first place, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This report identifies problems with absenteeism and disengaged… ...
    4 days ago
  • Reply to PM’s statement on deploying troops to Iraq
    “The decision of any Government to send troops to a conflict zone is a very serious one, and it is right that this House takes time to consider it, to debate it, and, ideally, to vote on it, but we… ...
    4 days ago
  • Minister must take action on death trap slides
    Workplace Relations Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse must take urgent action to ensure inflatable amusement rides don’t become death traps for children, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway says. “No one wants to stop kids having fun, but horror stories… ...
    4 days ago
  • Manus Island and the New Zealand Government
    This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda
    James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes no solution to Christchurch housing
    Housing will continue to be a big issue in 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index, released last month, shows both good news and bad news on the housing front. After years of being the most expensive place to build a… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Saving kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges
    It is amazing that you can hear the song of the endangered North Island kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges, less than 50 kms from the central city. A heavy schedule of policy workshops at the Green Party’s Policy… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s not turn a blind eye to human rights
    The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Its Just Not Cricket
    This week it was my privilege to work with Sri Lankan Tamil communities in this country and host Australian journalist and human rights advocate Trevor Grant. I knew a bit about Trevor from his biography but I didn’t know just… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZ to #BeCrueltyFree
    The Government is about to progress the final stages of the Animal Welfare Amendment bill. This will be our last opportunity to get changes made to improve the bill to ensure a better outcome for animals. I have put forwards… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • We want access!
    Access to buildings is a big issue for many New Zealanders. It looks like that, due to the hard work and persistence of people in the disability community, the Government may finally be starting to take access to buildings seriously.… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call on Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels
    The Green Party today called on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Fund) to divest from fossil fuels, starting immediately with coal. The call was accompanied with a new report, Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Kiwis’ housing crisis
    Shelter is a fundamental human need along with food, water and clean air. All humans need adequate shelter; it’s a human right. Warm, safe, stable accommodation is critical for young people to be able learn and grow and just be.… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • On the River Patrol in Te Tai Tokerau
    Last Wednesday, I went on a tour of some of Northland’s rivers with  Millan Ruka from Environmental River Patrol as he monitored water quality throughout Te Tai Tokerau. The dry conditions meant we couldn’t use the boat but we visited… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Opening of Parliament 2015
    Russel NormanOpening of Parliament Speech February 2015 Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou Tēnā koutou katoa. A brief history of climate change What a summer! It's been hot, even here in Wellington, hotter than any summer I can remember. All… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 weeks ago

  • Politicians’ pay increases
    “An increase of 3.5% in the minimum wage compared with 5.5% increase for politicians is appalling. It is another example of the wealthy looking after themselves and showing no regard for the poor” says Peter Malcolm, National Secretary of Income… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Invade Mexico for Guacamole Reserves Instead
    #WagePeaceNZ, founded yesterday, along with all 7 of its Twitter followers, demands that New Zealand invade Mexico for its Guacamole reserves in lieu of sending 143 troops to Iraq. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Australian Prime Minister to thank New Zealand fire crews
    The contribution of more than 400 New Zealand firefighters in helping battle bushfires across the Tasman over the past 14 years will be acknowledged tomorrow during a visit by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott to an Auckland fire station. ...
    12 hours ago
  • A simple question for Winston Peters: Where do you live?
    "Winston Peters has set a new record, being economical with the truth only hours into his campaign," claims Northland ACT candidate Robin Grieve. ...
    12 hours ago
  • Northland doesn’t need yesterday’s man
    "It's great that Winston Peters is finally taking an interest in Northland. But frankly we don’t need yesterday’s ideas from yesterday’s men in our region," ACT Northland candidate Robin Grieve said today. ...
    13 hours ago
  • Children’s Day – 365 days a year
    Barnardos wants New Zealanders to celebrate Children’s Day on 1 March, and to recognise the effort it takes to raise great kids over all 365 days of the year. ...
    13 hours ago
  • Will MPs Put Taxpayers’ Money Where Their Mouth is?
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling the bluff of MPs and has written to each one asking whether they will be accepting the backdated pay increases announced yesterday. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: ...
    16 hours ago
  • Fonterra Sneaks Round The Corner
    Fonterra’s subsidiary Glencoal has put its plans for an open cast mine on SH2 at Mangatangi on hold indefinitely. The local community is celebrating. They worked very hard with submissions on all the impacts of coal mining that you are… ...
    16 hours ago
  • How Free Is Free Speech?
    How Free Is Free Speech: Do we recommend unconstrained freedom of expression? The Chief Human Rights Commissioner, David Rutherford, will be In Conversation with Noel Cheer at St Andrew’s on The Terrace, Wellington on Tuesday 3 March 2015 from 12:15pm… ...
    16 hours ago
  • No military deployment in Iraq: Nationwide peace vigils
    Peace vigils calling for increased humanitarian assistance and diplomatic support for Middle East peace processes, and opposing the military deployment to Iraq, will be held around the country at 5pm on Thursday, 5 March, coordinated by Peace Movement ...
    17 hours ago
  • Message of Nationwide Day of Action :‘TPPA? No Deal!’
    “An amazing 22 towns and cities across New Zealand have rallied to the call for a nationwide day of action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 7 March”, according to Chantelle Campbell who is coordinating the national events ...
    17 hours ago
  • New Group Against Amalgamation
    A group of Wellingtonians have launched a campaign to resist the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s scheme to amalgamate Wellington’s existing councils. The group, Best Little Capital, has been formed by Wellingtonians Michael Moughan and Digby ...
    19 hours ago
  • Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise
    Stark contrast between benefit increase & MPs’ pay rise Media release Friday 27 February 2015 Earlier this week Social Development Minister Anne Tolley announced that benefits will increase by 0.51% on 1 April. Yesterday MPs were granted a 5.5% ...
    19 hours ago
  • Sensible Sentencing challenges MPs to refuse pay rise
    “I realise this will take courage and we extend an open challenge to all MPs – or any MP from any party – to have the courage to be the first to stand up and publicly denounce this nonsense and… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Labour Party President Elected
    Labour Party President Elected Nigel Haworth has been elected as Labour Party President following a vote conducted among the constituent organisations and elected representatives of the Party. This follows the resignation of Moira Coatsworth in December 2014. ...
    19 hours ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere